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We take a weekly look at mobile tech stories from around the world. Headlines include…  Meta says not planning ads on WhatsApp, French iPhone 12 warning, Private AI summit with senators and more…

Alexa’s generative AI revamp tackles assistant’s flaws but glosses over privacy

Ars Technica

Ars Technica reports on concerns surrounding Amazon’s latest AI refinements, namely a new “large language model” (LLM) a generative AI powered version of Alexa that adds a new range of features, including chatbots, changes to Fire TV and updates to the Alexa assistant itself.

Concerns stem from new features which may mean Alexa is listening to your conversation more than ever as it no longer always needs you to address it directly to activate it. Also it keeps track of users via cameras and assessing body language as part of its activation process – Amazon have not as yet however outlined any new or updated privacy features.

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Is it possible to regulate artificial intelligence?


In a related story BBC news discusses the possibility of regulation when it comes to AI.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, says “In many cases politicians and their aides have a weak understanding of how the internet works, and what it is possible to achieve,” “The question of a body like the United Nations regulating AI is like suggesting the UN regulate [image editing app] Photoshop.”

This is a hot topic as there have been several high level meetings to discuss AI as it becomes more prevalent, including the UN Security council and US lawmakers – but there is much debate as to whether global regulation of generative AI is even possible, with detractors citing “non-cooperative” nations like North Korea as problematic.

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Pinterest confirms slew of ‘full-funnel’ ad tools

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Popular design sharing platform Pinterest has introduced a range of new mobile advertising initiatives, reports Mobile Marketing Magazine, that includes quizzes and deep links and will mean more ways for brands to connect with users in the mobile marketplace.

The additions will make Pinterest more appealing to advertisers – Bill Watkins, Chief Revenue Officer of Pinterest: “We are innovating faster than ever before with a robust slate of relevant, personalised products to reach consumers with intent, and we’re building with the goal to be the industry’s best full funnel solution.”

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Inside Tiktok’s real-life frenzies – from riots to false murder accusations


A disturbing report from the BBC on how Tik Tok, the popular social network, is apparently sparking real-world antisocial behaviour.

The so-called online frenzies allow disproportionate amounts of engagement to certain topics, have been linked to real world interreference in criminal investigations, vandalism protests and riots. Former staffers allege the issue is not being tackled internally for fear of slowing the apps growth.

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UK digital wallet transactions set to surge ahead of all other payment methods

Telemdia Online

Digital wallets are set to surpass card transactions in the UK within 10 years according to Telemdia online, and research from Freedom Pay – which found that in the next five years, the value of digital wallet use is set to surge by 76.3%, well ahead of other payment methods.

FreedomPay President, Chris Kronenthal, says: “This research is a clear indication that the world of payments is changing rapidly, and the merchant needs to adapt to meet the needs of the evolving payment tech landscape. “It’s no surprise that physical forms of payments such as cash and plastic will be surpassed by digital wallets in the years to come and it’s an imperative that businesses re-evaluate their commerce capabilities.”

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WhatsApp Could Soon Allow You to Shop for Things Within the App


WhatsApp is adding back the ability to allow purchases of products within the app in  India according to WCCFTech, and a blog post on Meta. The changes mean its easier for users to buy goods and services and can be confident of the identity of the businesses they’re dealing with in WhatsApp,

Says the blog: “We’re making it possible for businesses to receive verification from Meta, which helps you know you’re chatting with the right business. To become Meta Verified, businesses demonstrate their authenticity to Meta and in return receive a verified badge, enhanced account support and impersonation protection.”

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